Stability balloon for two-dimensional vortex ripple patterns

J. L. Hansen, M. v. Hecke, C. Ellegaard, Ken Haste Andersen, Tomas Bohr, A. Haaning, Thomas Sams

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Patterns of vortex ripples form when a sand bed is subjected to an oscillatory fluid flow. Here we describe experiments on the response of regular vortex ripple patterns to sudden changes of the driving amplitude a or frequency f. A sufficient decrease of f leads to a "freezing" of the pattern, while a sufficient increase of f leads to a supercritical secondary "pearling" instability. Sufficient changes in the amplitude a lead to subcritical secondary "doubling" and "bulging" instabilities. Our findings are summarized in a "stability balloon" for vortex ripple pattern formation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)204301
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright (2001) American Physical Society


  • Water
  • Sand ripples
  • Waves
  • Dynamics


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